Wednesday, June 29, 2011

  The Love List 81 ~ 85

81.  My Kitchenaid stand mixer.
82.  McDonald's Mocha Frappe.
83.  Hot baths.
84.  Ross Dress For Less.
85.  Organization.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

  Holy Smoke!

That is the view we normally enjoy when on vacation.  We often sit on the porch and look out at the ocean, sometimes watching dolphins jumping in the waves, as we eat our lunch.

This year, our view was a little different.  While we did have a few days that offered views reaching to the horizon, most days we couldn't see through the thick layer of smoke.

The week of our vacation, there were 104 forest fires burning in our area.  The one night we went for an evening stroll on the beach, part of our normal daily routine while vacationing here, we returned with burning eyes, a slight cough and clothes that smelled of smoke.  I had a headache almost every single day.

I realize a smoky, hazy vacation on the beach is nothing to complain about in comparison to the people who have been forced to evacuate their homes or have even lost homes to these fires.  A couple of forest rangers have even lost their lives.

The last few days, we've had late afternoon storms, which are typical Florida weather.  The rain seems to be helping.  I just pray that it keeps coming!


Monday, June 27, 2011

  More Vacation Pictures

My kids eyes are all so different, but all gorgeous!

Blue eyed girl!

He was swimming without floaties by the end of the week!

Always the happy baby!  Please do not eat the shoe!


Friday, June 24, 2011

  Cawas & Deenadawars

There was a time, a few years ago, when I thought my days would forever be filled only with things pink and frilly.  We had Polly Pockets, Barbie and Disney Princesses all over our house. 

I think that's why it makes me genuinely happy to find match box cars (cawas in The Boy's language) and dinosaurs (aka deenadawars) lined up on my kitchen window sil.

And (dead?) lions in my pantry.

My husband says that makes me weird.

He also says my weirdness gives me character.


Thursday, June 23, 2011


So, I sat down to write a vacation post only to realize there isn't really that much to say.

We slept in as late as a certain precious baby girl would allow.  This condo used to have these glorious storm shutters over all the windows.  They blocked out every speck of sunlight.  We could sleep until noon and wake up wondering if it was still the middle of the night.  A few years ago, the whole place got a remodel, and the storm shutters came down.  The master bedroom's outside wall is just one giant window facing the ocean. 

The Atlantic Ocean.

Well, hello sunrise!

Sleeping late was not on our agenda.

The rest of our days consisted of sunscreen, beach, removing shells from Baby Girl's mouth, trying to see through the smoke (more on that later), more sunscreen, pool, lunch, naps, more sunscreen, beach, removing sand from Baby Girl's mouth, pool, dinner, movies, Phase 10, bed.

Then we would start all over again in the morning.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

  The Love List 76 ~ 80

To read about what inspired me to list 230 things I love, read here!
76.  Salami.
78.  Fried green tomatoes.
79.  The Marshalls shopping bags I bought for $0.99 each thinking they would be perfect for the beach...they really were!
80.  Looking out my window and not seeing smoke and falling ashes.  (It's not happening today, but a girl can dream.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

  One Very Long Sentence

Note:  I am submitting this post for I Heart Faces beautiful eyes theme this week.  I tried to add their button, but blogger won't let me!

Well, as it turns out, reality is a lot more hectic than I remembered, and as I did not perfect the art of cloning myself over vacation, I really haven't had time to write out a vacation post, so for today, as I wait for The Boy's mac & cheese water to come to a boil so I can feed him and head out to my next appointment, I'll just post my very favorite picture from the week and call it a day.


Monday, June 20, 2011

  Back To Reality

In case it wasn't made completely obvious by my posts last week, we were on vacation.

We have a friend with a condo on the beach, and he lets us use it for at least one week each summer.

Sometimes I think I'd like to go find a new place to visit, but we love it there. 

We have been so many times, it feels like a home away from home. 

We know where everything is, and we have made memories there. 

I have rocked every one of my babies in the recliner by the sliding glass doors leading out to the balcony.  There is nothing more calming than rocking a baby while looking out at the ocean and hearing the waves crash on the shore.

Plus, it's only a 45 minute drive, a definite plus with little kids.

And, it's FREE.  Can't beat that!

Baby Girl celbrated her nine month birthday on the first day of our vacation. 

And The Tween turned 10 while we were there.  I can't believe she has reached double digits already. 

I'll post pictures and more details later.  Right now, I need to unpack and try to get back to reality!


Friday, June 17, 2011

  The Love List 75

75.   Afternoon stoms and their aftermath.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

  The Love List 74

74.  Sandy Bottoms.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

  The Love List 73

73.  Waves.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

  The Love List 72

72.  The...


Monday, June 13, 2011

  The Love List 71

I have some stuff going on this week and won't be able to write a post each day.  Has anyone noticed that I have posted something every weekday since some time in April? 

So, I'll just be adding to my Love List each day (with pictures)!

71.  Sunsets.


Friday, June 10, 2011

  Lime Cake Mix Cookies

I'm sure many of you have heard of the Cake Mix Cookie recipe.  It's a pretty simple, basic recipe that you can add to as you see fit.

Here's the original recipe:

1 Box cake mix (I used butter yellow)
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix all ingredients together. 

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet (I line mine with parchment paper.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until tops are a light golden brown.

After you mix the basic ingredients, you can get creative with the add-ins. 

Use chocolate chips, chopped nuts, raisins, oatmeal, coconut, craisins, whatever floats your boat.

Here's what I did though, and it was so good!

Follow the recipe above, except instead of 1/4 cup of water, use about 1/8 cup of water and 1/8 cup of lime juice. 

I didn't measure precisely.  I very rarely do.  I just filled my 1/4 cup measuring cup about half way with water and then filled it the rest of the way with lime juice. 

Then I squirted a little more lime juice into the mix just for kicks and giggles.

Then I made a glaze using powdered sugar and more lime juice.  I didn't measure at all this time.  I just put some sugar in a bowl, squirted in lime juice and whisked it together until it looked glaze like.

After taking the cookies out of the oven, I drizzled the glaze over the top.  Once it cools, the glaze hardens a little and is heavenly.

Now, I love the tartness of the glaze, but The Hubby thought they were a little too tart for his taste, so I just sprinkled powdered sugar on a few of them for him.

These cookies are divine. 

Try them! 


And let me know what you think.

Okay, The Teen just said they are "gross", so if you make them, I would really like to know what you think!


Thursday, June 9, 2011


Tuesday night, we took the whole family out to dinner.  This is not something we do often, mainly due to financial restraints, but it's the end of school, and the big girls really wanted Mexican, and I wasn't about to say no to my first margarita in a year and a half. 

(For some reason, pregnant women and nursing mothers aren't allowed to have margaritas.)

Everything went smoothly. 

Everyone sat in their chairs and behaved themselves. 

Baby Girl sat in a high chair between her big sisters and ate Gerber Puffs.

The Boy sat between his daddy and me and only asked to go potty twice.

When we were about half way through our meal, an elderly gentleman walked by and tapped my husband on the shoulder.  Then he said, "My wife and I just wanted to tell you what a beautiful family you have."

I love getting compliments like that when we take our children out.

After we finished our dinner, The Hubby got up to go pay our bill, and The Boy hopped up to go with him.

The big girls and I gathered up all of our stuff (Gerber Puffs, baby toys, paci, etc.) and I took the last swig of my margarita.  When I stood up, another elderly gentleman who had been sitting at the table behind us, got my attention.

Of course, I was thinking I was about to receive the second compliment of the night. 

Instead, he pointed to The Boy and said, "Ummmm, your son is only wearing one shoe."

Well, of course.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

  The Love List 61 ~ 70

61.  Marzetti Avocado Ranch salad dressing, which is only available at Wendy's, and the only thing that would make me love it more is if it were available to purchase by the bottle.  Or by the vat.  It's that good!
62.  The last day of school...TODAY!  Woohoo!
63.  Jimmy Buffet
64.  Hearing The Boy "reading" himself to sleep.
65.  Crepe Myrtles. Or Crape Myrtles.  I've seen both spellings, but I prefer the first.  We have three HUGE ones in our new yard, and I can't wait to see what color their blooms are....if they bloom.  They look like they have never been properly cared for.
66.  Kraft Mac & Cheese.  Without that blue box, my son might starve to death.
67.  The smell of the air after it rains.
68.  The fact that my daughters' schools play the Hallelujah Chorus at the end of the last day of school!
69.  Planning parties.
70.  Real Vidalia Onions.

On a side note, this picture was in a recent Publix ad. 

I'm sorry, but as a Georgia girl, I have to say, it's redundant. 

Thank you, that's all.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

  And Now She Speaks?

I know I am about to sound like one of those moms.

You know, the moms who swear their baby rolled over while still in the hospital.

Or walked at four months.

And if I hadn't witnessed it for myself, if I had just heard the story from my husband, I wouldn't have believed him.

But, she spoke!

Baby Girl was sitting in her highchair.  Her daddy looked at her from across the table and waved to her.  She lifted her little chubby hand, turned it toward her own face, waved and very clearly said, "Bye, bye."

And it wasn't just a one time thing.  She did it over and over.  I was shocked and may have teared up a little.  She seems determined to grow up.

Then she got distracted by the Gerber Puff stuck inside her grubby, sticky little fist.

Later, The Tween was trying to get Baby Girl's attention and said her name in a high pitched sing song voice, and it really sounded like Baby Girl was trying to imitate that too.

So, my three year old is in speech therapy, and my not quite nine month old is starting to talk? 

What is wrong with this picture.

I know from experience that girls who talk early also talk often.



Maybe the advantage to having Baby Girl at my age is that my hearing will fade quickly!


Monday, June 6, 2011


We have a vacation coming up.  We have a family friend who owns a condo on the beach.  Each summer, he lets us use it for at least one week.  It's one of the highlights of our summer, and for whatever reason, this year, it seems even more heavenly than ever before.  Not a day goes by that one of the four of us old enough to understand the joys of beach living doesn't mention something we're looking forward to. 

For me, it's the chance to walk in the sand and exfoliate the winter ickies off my feet.

For my husband, it's not having to go work, sitting and listening to the waves and enjoying a cold adult beverage.

For the big girls, it's playing in the ocean waves and playing in the pool.

To help us count down the days until our vacation, The Teen made a paper chain.  I got the idea to add pictures to the chain from Dana at Made

It turned out super cute, and we all get a little more excited each night as we remove one of the links.